Biden OMB needs to improve reporting of cross-agency IT priority goals: watchdog

The Government Accountability Office has made five recommendations to the White House for improving the transparency of CAP goals.
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 30: Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Shalanda Young testifies before the Senate Budget Committee. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The Office of Management and Budget’s cross-agency priority goals do not address longstanding information technology management challenges and OMB needs to improve transparency of reporting progress on the CAP goals, a government watchdog reported on Tuesday.

The Government Accountability Office in a study on the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA) made five recommendations for OMB to improve on the transparency of CAP goals, including designating a goal related to IT and reporting on final progress at the end of the 4-year goal period. 

The cross-agency priorities are part of the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) which lays out the long-term vision for modernizing federal government agencies, which is then used by IT leaders and other C-suite executives at federal departments to help set key strategic priorities.

“GAO found that the administration’s designated CAP goals do not address all relevant GPRAMA requirements, and related guidance and practices,” the GAO study titled ‘Actions Needed to Improve Transparency of Cross-Agency Priority Goals’ wrote.


“As of March 2023, OMB had not designated CAP goals addressing the other two areas: information technology management and federal real property management. These areas are longstanding management challenges facing the federal government,” it wrote.

The GAO study added that it found the OMB did not consistently report quarterly progress toward achieving CAP goals as required by GPRAMA, which could provide greater transparency and allow for reporting on final progress achieved at the end of a goal period. 

The Biden administration’s OMB generally agreed with the GAO’s findings, but disagreed with most of the recommendations.

The President’s Management Agenda was introduced in 2001 by then-President George W. Bush as a way of monitoring the transformation process at federal agencies and flattening hierarchy within departments. 

The latest roadmap from OMB in September last year incorporated comments from industry and government stakeholders following publication of the Biden administration’s draft PMA in late 2021.

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